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ODFW teams with local youth to improve river access

October 14, 2009


BEND, Ore. -- More people will be able to fish and float parts of the Little Deschutes River near Bend thanks to an ODFW project to help improve river access.

Little Deschutes River
Several participants put the finishing touches on a new trail that will help improve public access on the Little Deschutes River.
Photo by ODFW

On Oct.10 and 11, ODFW staff and 14l youth participants from the Deschutes County Juvenile Community Justice Program installed signs, built trails and cleared the bank on four ODFW-owned sites along the Little Deschutes River.

For years, the Little Deschutes River has been inaccessible to most anglers and boaters. Over 90 percent of the stream is privately owned and the few areas that offered public access were unmarked and hard to find.

The new signs and trails will help open more than 5,000 feet of river frontage to bank fishing. The improved access sites also will provide put-in and take-out points for paddlers of canoes, kayaks, rafts and other non-motorized water craft.

“These sites were purchased by the state several years ago, but up until now they weren’t well-marked or well-known,” said Kurt Cundiff, an ODFW program analyst in Bend. “We hope the new signs and trails, improved boat access and picnic tables in some areas will allow more people to enjoy fishing and boating on the Little Deschutes.

The money to survey property lines, and buy signs and other supplies came from an ODFW Fish Restoration and Enhancement Program grant (funded by license dollars). The sweat equity to install, build and clear came from over 96 at-risk youth who, since July 1, 2008, have completed over 600 hours of work on the Little Deschutes River access project.

For anglers and boaters the project means improved access to a local river. For the young participants in the Juvenile Community Justice Program it may mean even more, said Jim Smith, program officer.

“Thanks to the ODFW staff and volunteers, the youth learned about local wildlife, habitat restoration and even about the educational requirements and career opportunities in the field,” he said.

“It also was a chance for these young people to work along side ODFW staff to do meaningful work and to feel valued for doing good, positive community service,” Smith added. “They see the results of their work -- they see what they’ve built.”




Kurt Cundiff (541) 388-6363 ext. 236
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023
Fax: (503) 947-6009



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